Providers making their points
Senior Vice President,
as Senate dances with reform
By John O’Connor The bill now makes its way to
Q: After healthcare reform, what Nonproﬁt providers cheered the Senate ﬂoor.
when Sen. Olympia Snowe The American Association
should be providers’ big concern?
(R-ME) helped Democrats of Homes and Services for the
A: Medicare, which can be harmed or move a major healthcare Aging is pushing hard for the
helped by the reform issue. Medicare reform bill out of the Senate preservation of the CLASS Act
Photo: James M. Berklan
should stand alone as a payment issue. Finance Committee. as the Senate attempts to merge
The House is using it as a ‘pay for’ issue, While the Finance Commit- two separate reform bills.
taking out the market- basket update, tee measure hardly reinvents Two other long-term care
and that’s not a good thing. Our goal is long-term care, it contains organizations, the American
some of the most industry- AAHSA President Larry Minnix is Health Care Association ,and
to save that market basket, within or a CLASS Act promoter.
friendly provisions Congress the Alliance for Quality Nurs-
outside of health reform.
has seriously considered. bundling and the creation of ing Home Care, were a bit more
Most notably, CLASS a special office to deal with circumspect. In a statement,
Q: Even though Medicare is a sec- Act measures would estab- people who are eligible for they thanked Snowe for her
ondary payer of services? lish a disability insurance both Medicare and Medicaid support. But they also insisted
program, which nonprofits services. Yet another provision on better Medicare and Med-
A: The market basket is the only pre-
have strongly backed. Other would tie the market-basket icaid funding, which still
dictable vehicle of increasing Medicare
components include a pilot update for nursing homes to accounts for the lion’s share
payments year to year. [Medicare program to test payment “productivity adjustments.” of industry revenue. ■
is] not the biggest ﬁsh but it’s a very
Q: What are your hopes now? Yarwood: Funding challenges a ‘tsunami’
A: Two things: that the Senate prevails By John O’Connor of the organization’s annual he said to a packed audience
on the market basket issue and that the The leader of the nation’s larg- conference in Chicago last